Answers to Some Questions about Autogynephilia

Originally posted at Alice Domurat Dreger 

Readers of Galileo’s Middle Finger have been asking me some questions about autogynephilia, particularly since Vanity Fair’s coverage of Caitlyn Jenner. I encouraged one reader who contacted me by Twitter today to send her questions by email, and she was kind enough to do so. Below are answers to her questions.

First, for folks who haven’t read the book, I’ll just mention briefly that autogynephilia is the name sex researcher/psychologist Ray Blanchard coined for a particular type of sexuality he observed clinically among a portion of natal males seeking what are now called gender-affirming interventions (i.e., cross-sex hormone replacement therapy and sex-changing surgeries). The term “autogynephilia” denotes being sexually aroused by the idea of being or becoming a woman. (Auto=self; gyn=female; philia=love of.) I explain in Galileo’s Middle Finger why this idea has been so controversial and in particular what happened to J. Michael Bailey for promoting Blanchard’s ideas in his book, The Man Who Would Be Queen.

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